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James David Dyer

1946-2016

Published: November 30, 2016 4:00 AM

James David Dyer, 70, of Kent, passed away on Tuesday, November 29, 2016.

Born on February 2, 1946 in Zanesville to James Clarence and Virginia Maxine Dyer, David grew up in rural Coshocton County. His family eventually settled in the village of Bakersville. He graduated from West Lafayette High School in 1964, and was then the first of his family to attend college, at Kent State University. A self-made man, he worked his way through college by alternating his coursework with time off to work on the railroads. It was that journey, along with his family's union organizing roots, that led him to become an outspoken critic of the Vietnam War, and a lifelong activist, participant, and follower of Democratic politics.

James David Dyer

After graduating from Kent State with a degree in political science, David went on to get his master's degree in public administration while also pursuing his law degree at the University of Akron. David's true passion was seeking to help others navigate the legal system, and, if he were to describe himself in one word, it would undoubtedly be "lawyer." He successfully ran his own law firm and was well known around town for being someone to call in a pinch; the door to his office was always open. David was a fixture in downtown Kent, both in his North Water Street law office and his social life.

David was incredibly generous and compassionate. He was committed and loyal to his family, friends, and community. He always sought to do what was right, which is why he so deeply valued equality and social justice. He was fiercely liberal, and walked his talk -- getting involved with politics and generously donating money to the causes in which he believed. He loved live music, classic rock, hitchhiking across America, spicy food (and subsequent Tums), and long hair (which he donned at many points of his life). He loved nothing more than enjoying his passions with the people around him.

He is survived by his daughters, Kathryn and Ashley; his grandson, Blayke; his siblings Donna, Dennis, Diana, and Drew; six nieces and one nephew; and his ex-wife, Susan. He is preceded in death by his parents, James and Maxine.

Never wanting to be in the spotlight, but always the life of the party, David will be remembered at a memorial service gathering at Bissler Funeral home on Thursday, December 1, 2016 at 4 p.m., and celebrated thereafter at Ray's Place at 6 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Democratic National Committee (https://www.democrats.org/) or the American Civil Liberties Union (https://www.aclu.org/), which, in David's opinion, need all the help they can get right now.

(RC 11-30-16)


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